OLD Media Moves

Toyota and the biz media

February 14, 2010

Howard Kurtz of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” had Micheline Maynard, the auto writer for The New York Times, on his show Sunday to talk about whether business journalists have been soft on Toyota.

Here is an excerpt of the conversation:

KURTZ: Now, Warren Brown, “The Washington Post” car columnist who we hoped to have on this morning but he couldn’t make it, has written rather forcefully that the media have gone very easy on what he calls “Saint Toyota” and playing up the admitted manufacturing problems and quality control problems of the big Detroit automakers, while not, perhaps, in his view, applying the same standard to Toyota.

Your thoughts on that?

MAYNARD: That’s something that we’ve heard for years from the Detroit car companies. And essentially, it was happening when the Detroit car companies were recalling a lot more vehicles than Toyota simply because they sold a lot more vehicles than Toyota.

I do think that Toyota’s reputation, until the last six months or so, did get something of a pass from the media. I think one of the reasons is that they’ve sold a lot of cars to a lot of satisfied buyers. And if you’re not hearing constantly from people who are upset about their cars, you tend to think that maybe the cars are pretty good.

Read the entire transcript here.

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